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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Bertie is Sneezing
Last Post by Snowytoshi at 8/28/2012 2:00 PM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline Cristina
Texas
128 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2012 5:35 PM

Hey Guys! I know many of ya'll are VERY experienced so I had a question that I could use some input on. My first bun Beatrix, died after only 2 months. We took her to the vet and found out she had pasturella and her lungs were full of blood and fluid. We spent nearly $800 on her and we would do it all over again. We now have 2 boys, a holland lop (mine) named Toby, and a jersey wooly ( sisters) named Gus. We found a rabbit outside a month ago and have been feeding it regularly. Friday I bought it a cage and brought it in the house. Also another male ( yay me! lol) and we named him Bertie, and he is now my Dad's bun. Although the whole fam is very attached to him. I noticed him sneezing yesterday and he was doing it again today. When Beatrix was alive, I noticed her sneezing a lot but thought it was allergies. She would play all day and come running out from under the furniture with huge dust bunnies all over her whiskers. She was my first bun and I didn't know any better, I thought it was normal. When I found out on her check up how sick she really was I felt awful for not noticing the signs. It devestated our family that she died after only 2 months. We are just getting over her death, and Bertie's sneezing is really worrying me. I'm going to try to take him in tomorrow if the vet can fit him in. I want to make sure he's okay, and since he is a wild bun he needs a check up any way. I have had him quarentined seperately from the other 2 boys so I think they should be okay. I've seen a few people mention on the forums in the past, that they can do a swab test for pasturella. With Beatrix they found it through an ultra sound, extracting the fluid from her lungs, and running a full panel on it, which was very costly. I was wondering what the nose swab test for pasturella is called so I know what to ask the vet for. If my vet doesn't do this test I want to call around and find one who does. Also if you know about how much the test runs I'd appreciate it.

Thank you! 

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User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
11599 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 12:47 AM
Is the rabbit you found a domestic bunny?

It's definitely a good idea to keep the new bunny quarantined. Be careful to always wash your hands well after handling him and don't share any of your bunny accessories.

Sneezing could be Pasteurella but it could also be something like an infection or even just allergies. Most vets will do a culture sensitivity test. You're right, they do a swab of the nose. It's definitely much cheaper than an ultrasound. Prices are different everywhere, but when I had my bun cultured it was under $100.00. If your bun needs to be sedated for the vet to do the culture, it will cost more. The results took a couple of weeks. I'm not sure the exact name of the test, just ask your vet if they can do a nasal swab culture to test for Pasteurella.
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User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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8/27/2012 2:48 AM
Another option if your vet does not do the swab test would be to locate your local wildlife rescue center and take him for tests there. If it turns out that he has something that is going to be harmful for your house rabbits, and they confirm that he is truly wild and not a dumped domestic, you may have to consider the option of leaving him there as a rescue where they will care for him as needed and be able to decide if he will survive if returned to the wild or will adopt him out. It may also depend on the size of your local rescue. (There's a large one here in South Florida that I would feel confident about bringing a bunny to under these circumstances, but it isn't true of all areas.)

Some illnesses have strains that go around more during one year or season or another, so if you do stick with your vet, just ask what he may be at risk for and if there are any preventative measures to take. I would not be surprised if a little wild bunny has some trouble starting out, rather than healthy domestics. You definitely want to quarantine him until you know how he is overall. Good luck - he's a lucky little guy to find such a loving family.
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User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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8/27/2012 2:55 AM
You should ask for a culture and sensitivity test. It's really unlikely that it is going to affect the other rabbits since they do not have direct contact with Bertie. Just wash your hands after handling him and his stuff.

Vibes to Bertie, please let us know what the vet says.

User is Offline Cristina
Texas
128 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 3:55 AM
LittlePuffyTail- We got him from our back yard where we found him. BUT I don't think he is a wild bunny. He is white and I don't think that's a wild bun color. He seems more likely to be a domestic that someone dumped, for whatever reason. I'm going to attach some pics at the end of the post. I'm thinking maybe it's just allergies as he adjusts to life inside versus being outside. Hopefully taht's all it is but I want to be careful and make sure.

RabbitPam- those are all excellent things to think about! Thank you!!! I never thought of contacting our wildlife place. Most of the ones here and pretty small but I know the lady that runs it and she is excellent. I may give her a call and see if she can help me out.

Sarita- Thank you!!! I know what to ask the vet for now. I've been washing up after playing with him so that when I touch the boys they hopefully won't get any germs if its something more than allergies. I'll definitely keep ya'll updated

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User is Offline Cristina
Texas
128 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 4:02 AM

Here are some pictures of Bertie

 

and another of him eating

 

We don't think he's a wild rabbit. And he's so sweet and loving. Our first rabbit we also found in the backyard in spring of this year. Bertie appeared while we still had Beatrix. I found him on the patio one morning curled up on our patio chair. We decided at the time to feed him but leave him as an outside bun. He sits on the patio with us every morning and every evening. He plays, binkys, runs around me in circles and we kept food and water for him. I noticed this past few weeks that some very large birds ( possibly owls? ) were watching him like a hawk. We noticed whenever they would fly near Bertie would run off and hide in his trees. Thursday I brought him in the house for a bit and all was fine, so I let him back out to go to his home. Friday we noticed those birds flew into his home of tree's, we think to make Bertie their meal. So I promptly bought him a temperary cage and brought him in the house. I think it was just in time because there was a big chunk of fur from his nose that was gone, and he was in perfect condition the day before. 

We are actually thinking since this is 2 bunnies within 6 months, that someone is dumping them out here and we are really upset with whoever is doing this. For now Bertie has the largest commercial cage we could find, but he is free range in a 14 by 16 room and only sleeps in his cage. In the next few weeks I am going to build him his own cage that's bigger. But this is his little pad for now.

Any thoughts on whether he is wild or domestic?

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User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17710 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 4:06 AM
No, he's not a wild rabbit, he's domestic - what a cutie! Glad you are bringing him inside - so much safer and he will be happier there.

User is Offline Cristina
Texas
128 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 4:13 AM

He is sooo happy that he is inside. ANd we adore having him! I am taking him to the vet this morning. 

I found a vet in houston ( an hour away) that is supposed to be very good. But when I called the staff ( or at least the receptionist) didn't know anything about pasturella and any tests that would be run or prices. And their rabbit vet won't be in until later in the week. That didn't sit too well with me, that no one knew what I was talking about. 

I wound up calling a local vet in my small town. My friends swear by them. They do see exotic and they told me they see rabbits on a regular basis. When I talked to the receptionist about Bertie's sneezing and my pasturella fear, she knew what it was and asked me if he had any discharge or wet nose. Then talked to the vet, and told me he would need to have a Culture and Sensativity test. BINGO! We have an appointment in an hour, and his exam will be $46 and his test $100. I think those are excellent prices and I liked that their receptionist is knowledgable and knew what I was talking about. This lets me know that they most likely have a good and well educated vet and staff as well.

I'll let you know how it goes!

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User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
3175 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 4:16 AM
100% domestic...100% indoor house rabbit... he is beautiful. Thank you for taking him in and loving him.
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User is Offline Skipper's Mama
Florida
1252 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 7:30 AM
He is gorgeous Christina! You did such a good thing bringing him inside. =] Please keep us updated on how he is tests come out.

User is Offline Snowytoshi
263 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 9:30 AM
I'm hoping everything goes alright with the test- sending lots of hugs and nosebonks you way <3

He's beautiful and it was wonderful of you to take him in. You might also consider calling an animal control agency to see if they can look into the rabbit dumping.

User is Offline Cristina
Texas
128 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 5:50 PM

SnowyToshi- THANK YOU!!! I am so glad you recommended this!!! I am for sure going to call and do that tomorrow. Whatever jerk is doing it needs to stop. We've had 2 amazing buns from it, BUT it's really cruel and it infuriates me! Plus with the 3 males we really have no room for any more if they keep it up. 

Thank you sooo much to everyone for the concern, and helpful suggestions! Bertie behaved beatutifully at the vet! He didn't flinch or move when they handled him, gave him shots, weighed him, or even when they had to flip him on his back. YAY!!! 

The vet told me we could run the test but in her opinion it was a bit of a waste of money at the moment. She gave him a very thorough exam and he has no symptoms of pasturella. She said most all rabbits have it , or have had it. Most get it at birth from their Mom, and the test will come out posative if the bun has had pasturella in the past. So even if he had it, but doesn't know, it will come out poastive. Because of that she said it isn't very conclusive, and since he had no symptoms it would be waste of money. Because he had no symptoms, there is nothing she could prescribe to treat anything. She said my last bun manifested her pasturella with a respratory problem, but that doesn't always happen. It can be a tooth abcess, a tumor, or many other things. His breathing was good, teeth, eyes, belly, poop and everything were good. So she told me what to watch for and instructed me on how to listen and check his breathing every day.

Bertie is about a year old, and very healthy. He's 4.5 pounds and doing really well. She really stressed a healthy diet of mostly hay and veggies and no pellets if possible, or just a few tablespoons. She told me a good diet is the best prevention against pasturella because the body will fight it naturally and he won't get the complications. I feel comfortable with her diagnosis. She thinks it's just the switch to being in the house with dust and she said it's natural for him to sneeze. All animals do it. I'm just a paranoid mama after loosing my last bun. But she made me feel comfortable and much more confident about Bertie being okay. I'll continue to watch him for any signs, like lack of activity, lack of appetite and of course monitor his breathing.

But for now it looks like he is a healthy guy! =) He did have ear mites so he got a shot for that, and he'll get another in 2 weeks.I thought $67 was great for everything she did and I was happy with her service. I'll keep monitoring him, but so far today he hasn't sneezed at all! I remember that my dad had sprinkled carpet freshner in his room ( where Bertie is) and was going to vacuum before he let Bertie out. He forgot that he had done it and let him out. So I'm thinking it was the cause of his sneezing. I'll keep an eye out, but thanks everyone for your input and advice! 

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User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
11599 posts Send Private Message
8/28/2012 1:40 AM
It seems a bit strange to me that the vet said he has no symptoms of pasteurella as sneezing is a symptom of pasteurella. Definitely keep an eye on the sneezing, may have just been a one time thing.

He's beautiful! Thanks so much for bringing him in. Seems like a horrible fate would have certainly befallen him if you hadn't of taken him in. Are you planning on eventually bonding him to your other buns?
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User is Offline Skipper's Mama
Florida
1252 posts Send Private Message
8/28/2012 1:09 PM
I'm glad he's doing well! =] Having a sick bun is never fun. (((Vibes for continued health))) =D

User is Offline Snowytoshi
263 posts Send Private Message
8/28/2012 2:00 PM
Glad to hear that he is doing well <3

I'm interested in hearing what animal control says.
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